Thursday, February 11, 2016

Flagship energy college gets the go-ahead

A dedicated training hub for the energy industry supported by the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has moved has a step nearer to reality.

Blackpool and The Fylde College has been advised of planning permission to build the Lancashire Energy HQ, which is set to become the flagship of the new Blackpool Enterprise Zone.

The LEP is providing £6.2m in Growth Deal funds towards the £9.8m cost of the project. Construction will start in summer 2016 and complete in the autumn of 2017.

The college will become a centre of excellence for the county and beyond, delivering the higher technical skills, knowledge and training required by the energy sector.

Daryl Platt, Executive Director of Commercial Development at Blackpool and The Fylde College, said: “This is great news for Lancashire and the industries we will be supporting. Our aim is to provide a cutting-edge learning environment producing job-ready students who are highly skilled in advanced engineering, technology and energy solutions.

“The college already has a proven reputation in this field. Fleetwood Nautical Campus has more than 20 years of experience working with both on and off-shore energy sectors. The Lancashire Energy HQ will build on this, adding green and renewable energy technology to the provision offered.”

Dr Michele Lawty-Jones, Director, Lancashire Skills Hub, said: “The Lancashire Energy HQ, at the heart of a Blackpool Enterprise Zone specialising in energy, is an important part of the LEP’s ambitious strategic programme to transform Lancashire’s economy, growing it by £3bn and creating tens of thousands of jobs over the next decade.

“Lancashire is already a world leader in the energy sector and there is huge potential for further development. The energy hub will train the skilled workforce this sector needs which, in turn, will encourage energy firms to invest in Blackpool and Lancashire as a whole.

“This is only one of a number of high quality training facilities the LEP is funding in the county which will boost the job prospects of thousands of local people and ensure we have the skilled workforce we need to fuel economic growth.”